SFWA or Bust?

It's been four years now since I started submitting my short stories for publication. So far, I've sold 75 tales to various online and print publications, and once the rights have reverted to me, most have found new life via Amazon and Smashwords. It's been a lot of work along the way, and I've enjoyed just about every moment.

But three stories definitely stand out from the pack. Not because I think they're any better than the others; they have something in common...

The first is "Tomorrow's Dawn," published by Daily Science Fiction; the second is "Roadkill Joe," published by AE Science Fiction; and the third is "One Meal a Day," which recently appeared in Nature. (Cool surprise in the mail last week: a contributor's copy!)

As you've probably guessed, they're the three SFWA-qualifying sales that, along with $90, ushered me into the exclusive virtual halls of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America forums! That's right, I'm now officially an active member, and I look forward to seeing what it does for my writing career. 

But maybe I should take JFK's advice and ask not what the SFWA can do for me, but rather what I can do for the SFWA. The problem is, I don't have time to lurk around discussion forums nor the inclination to involve myself in writerly debates. For four long years, it was my goal to get to this level. Now that I'm here, I can't help but ask, "So what?" 

I don't plan to turn into a pretentious snob. I plan to sell another 25 stories before I turn 40. That's three years, folks. It can be done; it shall be done. And who knows? Maybe I'll land another SFWA-qualifying sale or two in the process.

As the cliché goes, it's not the destination that matters so much; it's the journey. I've enjoyed the ride so far, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store.

29 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Milo! I've looked at SFWA qualifications before. It never hurts to have extra credentials as proof of your writing chops.

    Persistence does pay off, we know you can do it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It'll look good on your resume, but I think the 75 sales in four years is the real achievement

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations!! That's a big deal. My publisher isn't one listed with them, so I don't qualify.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations! That is a very firm platform you've built with all your sales. Cheers to twenty five more by age forty! :))

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good for you. You're just a little older than my oldest. You should feel great for what you've achieved.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congrats! That's quite a bit of success you've had. Here's to a whole lot more in your future, which I'm sure they'll be.

    ReplyDelete
  7. How wonderful for you and of course you deserve to be on that level and now go even higher. But I know just what you mean about not having time (or desire?) for long conversations in this (or any?) forum and getting involved in writerly debates. I love some of the personal contact I have with other writers on the Web, but my personal time seems to be shrinking daily and I have to decide soon how best to use it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congrats, Milo! That's high prestige.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow! That's really great news! As long as you're enjoying the journey, then keep on truckin'. It's when it's not fun anymore that it's time to get off the train...(really mixing my metaphors here, but am dead in the water energy-wise...) Congrats!
    Tina @ Life is Good

    ReplyDelete
  10. Damn that is awesome and 75, holy crap, accomplishment there

    ReplyDelete
  11. 75. Congrats. That's very impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congrats on your success! We learn so much along the way, don't we? It's a great journey. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Milo - that's amazing and so well done .. no wonder you're chuffed. Great goal to have to ... that you continue and add to those sales and I'm sure further SFWA qualification along the way.

    Great news - congratulations .. Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  14. Congrats! Best of luck with getting the rest of your stories out there. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fantastic stuff, Milo - your meteoric rise continues! Not sure how meteors rise but you get what I mean. Onwards and upwards!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well done, Milo! You set the goal and you achieved it. And I have no doubt you'll sell those next 25 easily and way before you turn 40. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Congratulations Milo! Can't wait to see what the next three years brings.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congrats on getting into SFWA! And when you figure out what it can do for you, please let us know. :)

    And I'm sure you'll meet your goal! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Whew! That's a humongous number of shorts. Way to go! Next ambition in life: be like Milo. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congrats, Milo. You've certainly earned it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow, those are amazing numbers! You are an inspiration Milo:) You should write a book about submitting short-stories and what you have found useful and not along the way. I'd read it:)

    ReplyDelete
  22. *shakes head* That's the way life is, isn't it?
    Congratulations!

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Glad you decided to take part in Follow Fest. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Enjoying the journey" is the most important thing. As long as you're doing that, you'll keep writing!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Congratulations on the journey so far!
    And, hey, wasn't it Stephen King who advised Neil Gaiman to enjoy the process? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Congratulations and well done on the journey! Wishing you all the best!

    Nas

    ReplyDelete
  26. Well you're hitting the SFWA at a bad time after all the controversy over women in the genre. I'm not sure what to think about writers' organisations. Maybe they're too small to work at a standard I'd expect.

    There's a lot to get out of them, if that's your bag. And I don't want to bad mouth them, nor take away your achievement.

    But . . . I think it's not for me.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Proud of you for achieving this goal! During the journey to 3 pro acceptances, you've written so many good stories and honed your craft. I think that is even more valuable than the actual destination: SFWA Membership. Although it would be great if those four little letters lead to a plethora of future acceptances...

    ReplyDelete
  28. That was a lot of hard work and you can fulfill your other goals in three years. That's an amazing track record of success.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is very cool. I was just pondering about magazines today on my memoir blog. I think you've done a great job so far.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

    ReplyDelete